New Paltz Forward

New Paltz Forward

New Paltz Forward

SUNY New Paltz is currently planning to provide a safe, in-person experience for students in fall 2021, consistent with continued progress against COVID-19 in New York State.

Our plans include a return to holding most classes in person, increased residence hall capacity and expanded campus events, programs and dining.

As we look forward to easing pandemic-era restrictions, the safety of our students, faculty and staff will remain our top priority. We will continue offering on-campus COVID-19 testing with campus-based contact tracing. We also plan to continue our current masking policies, per state and CDC guidance.

Please click here to read more about our current plans for an in-person fall 2021 semester.

See below for details about our academic year 2020-21 campus plan.


  • All members of our in-person population (including students and employees, per bargaining unit agreements with SUNY) will be subject to mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing, with options for getting tested on campus or submitting results from off-campus facilities. As of Jan. 20, 2021, SUNY requires all campuses to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff who are on campus for any reason.
    • More details about weekly COVID-19 testing can be found at this link.
  • All students and employees will be expected to complete the Daily Health Screening at on any day they intend to be on campus.
  • Masking and social distancing will be required for all in-person environments, including classrooms, study areas, offices, the Athletic & Wellness Center, the Sojourner Truth Library and other spaces.
  • The College will be prepared with a plan to temporarily Pause and Pivot to fully remote instruction if so directed by SUNY or state and local health officials.  
  • Chancellor Malatras' uniform emergency disciplinary standards will be extended through the spring semester so that every effort can be made to ensure compliance with the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols. 
  • SUNY has mandated that spring break be canceled and any days off during the semester must fall on midweek days to discourage travel. Therefore, New Paltz will end the semester two days earlier and has scheduled three individual “Mind, Body, Spirit” days that will be distributed as follows:
    • Tuesday, Feb. 23
    • Wednesday, March 24
    • Thursday, April 15
  • A new meal plan has been developed based on student focus group feedback on meal options from fall 2020. The new plan will provide 100 anywhere, anytime meals and $1,100 in dining dollars. The following food service outlets will be open this spring and accept this new meal plan: Peregrine Dining Hall, Nesters, Grill at Student Union, Chick-n-bap, Pomodoro’s, SUB Connection, Hissou Sushi, Atrium Brew, Roost Convenience Store, Starbucks, and Sweets & Treats.
  • We have received the following guidance from SUNY regarding Commencement: “Commencement exercises ordinarily occurring at or near the close of Spring 2021 semester will be considered in accordance with guidance from New York State. Campuses should begin to plan and message virtual commencements and/or safely distanced methods of recognition and degree dissemination for their graduates.” Our Commencement Office is currently considering various options and will communicate them with the campus community once they have been finalized. New Paltz plans will be contingent on state health department guidance at the time of Commencement. 


A significant portion of our 2020-21 plan outlines how the College will facilitate regular and substantive interaction between students and faculty in remote courses, including the following:

  • As Interim Provost Lyman has announced, faculty are expected to self-review online courses using the Open SUNY Course Quality Review rubric, to ensure adoption of established best practices for remote instruction and delivery of high-quality learning experiences for students. In addition, Interim Provost Lyman released timelines and expectations for meeting SUNY standards for remote instruction.
  • Faculty and students will continue to have access to training and technological tools to support a robust, consistent and engaging remote teaching and learning environment. Many of these can be accessed in the Help Desk’s Knowledge Base.
  • The temporary expansion of the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade option, allowing students two additional S/U grades per semester to be used after consultation with advisor, will continue in spring 2021. 


Many more details about academic and campus operations for spring 2021 are described in the full plan and in a What Students Should Know web page designed to help students absorb the information. We encourage you to review and familiarize themselves with those details.

We understand that the planning documents are dense, and we will continue working to make them easier to understand and absorb through consistent messaging, reminders and updates in the Daily Digest newsletter, NPForward texts, the College’s social media accounts and web pages, print posters and fliers, and other institutional channels.

Our New Paltz Forward FAQ page is being updated with new information as well, and will continue to be a resource for students, faculty and staff in the months ahead.

We must also acknowledge that, given the continued uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic, campus planning is subject to substantial change due to new information and/or direction from SUNY and state and local health officials.